Over the past weeks I have been previewing the race for the postseason. On Monday, I covered the NL East, and today I will be previewing the NL West. We will organize our discussion by the current standings.
Los Angeles Dodgers
65-50 | division lead
A year after Yasiel Puig burst onto the scene to help lead the Dodgers’ improbable comeback, LA is in control of the West, sitting 15 games over .500.
On the offensive side of the ball, Puig leads the team with a .316 batting average to go along with 13 home runs and nine triples. Including Puig, the Dodgers have 5 starters (Puig, Gordon, Kemp, Ramirez, and Gonzalez) batting .257 or better. All of this combines to give LA the eigth highest batting average in the majors at .257, as well as a 12th place rank in the majors in runs scored with 472.
As we near baseball’s All-Star break, it’s time to take a look at the players who have really stood out thus far in the season. Yesterday I took a look at some outstanding players in the American League. Today I’ll do the same for the National League.
We find a mix of old and new names in the National League MVP conversation. Pirates center-fielder Andrew McCutchen is having a great follow-up to his 2013 MVP campaign, as his .319 average ranks fifth. This, along with his 14 home runs, 58 RBIs, and 15 stolen bases, is proof of his all-around greatness.
Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy has always been a solid hitter, but he has pulled himself into MVP consideration for the first time this year with a .323 average that ranks third in the league, and an .897 OPS that is sixth. His Milwaukee team has also surprised baseball by maintaining first place in the competitive NL Central (though a 4-game sweep at the hands of a weak Phillies team can’t be encouraging).